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Over 200 parishes have closed in German diocese

February 24, 2017

The Diocese of Essen, Germany, celebrated its sixtieth anniversary on February 23.

Since 1957, the number of Catholics has declined from 1.4 million to 791,000, in part because of a decline in the steel industry, according to the Italian news agency SIR. Over 200 parishes have closed, with the number of parishes falling from 259 to 43.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 25, 2017 10:07 AM ET USA

    Hmm. Is the dwindling number of Catholics due to the decline in the steel industry _alone_, or could the exodus have something to do with the moral laxity of certain elements in the German Church?